The Psy.D. program provides the highest standard of educational experience to enable graduate students to become practicing clinical psychologists who have a solid appreciation of the role of science in all aspects of professional activity, a clear understanding of the ethical demands of such a position, and who hold the value of contributing to the lives of others, especially those in our society whose needs have been traditionally underserved.


The APA accredited Doctor of Psychology (Psy.D. in clinical psychology) program is rooted in Xavier's strong commitment to the service of others. Accordingly, the program is designed to educate students to become skilled general practitioners of clinical psychology, involved in a variety of ways in the delivery of services. Ethics and values play a significant role in the program. Each student chooses an area of particularly concentrated study (area of Interest) from among the underserved populations of children and adolescents, individuals with severe and chronic psychopathology problems, and healthcare psychology across the life span. This emphasis is in keeping with the Jesuit tradition of serving the needy in our society.

The basic philosophy of the Psy.D. program is to educate skilled practitioners who have a solid appreciation of the role of science in all aspects of professional activity. The program recognizes a need for the student to achieve a balance between a knowledge of the basic science of psychology and proficiencies. The practitioner-scientist model recognizes the continued dependence of the profession on a scientific foundation, the importance of practitioners being skilled consumers of research, and the development of applied skills that will allow the graduate to contribute to the field of clinical psychology, serving as a local clinical scientist. Thus, professional education is guided by the Jesuit tradition of "service within the context of scholarship."

Following the model of the National Council of Schools and Programs of Professional Psychology (NCSPP), the Xavier Psy.D. program emphasizes seven competencies.  The Xavier program has categorized them as follows:

  1. Overarching competencies,  important throughout training and beyond, in application of all other competencies:  Relationship and Diversity
  2. Competencies of practice, combining knowledge, attitudes and skills, utilized before and after graduation:  Assessment, Intervention, Research and Evaluation, and Consultation and Education
  3. Competencies of later development, taught with emphasis on knowledge to set the stage for further development later in the graduate's career:  Management and Supervision

The program can be completed in five years (including internship). During that time, students may elect to take a series of courses within the graduate program in health services administration to educate themselves in the attitudes, knowledge, and skills important in the changing delivery of health care in this country. Successful completion of these classes leads to the awarding of the "Certificate in the Foundations of Health Services Administration."

Not only do we seek students of varying backgrounds for our Psy.D. program, but we strive to nurture an appreciation of differences among people. The goal is to help students come to better appreciate the similarities and differences among people and to extend that understanding to serving the needs of others.

For more information about APA accreditation, contact the American Psychological Association, Office of Program Consultation and Accreditation, 750 First Street, NE, Washington, DC - 20002-4242, Phone: 202-336-5979,